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Franklin Templeton names CIO of Fixed Income Group


Franklin Templeton Investments has appointed Dr Sonal Desai as chief investment officer of Franklin Templeton Fixed Income Group, effective 31 December 2018.

Desai (pictured), will oversee the firm’s corporate credit, emerging markets debt, bank loan, global aggregate, securitised, money market, multi-sector, municipal and local fixed income strategies and teams, which manage a total of USD157 billion in fixed income assets for investors around the world.
Desai, who has been with the firm for 10 years, will take on this new role upon Chris Molumphy’s retirement at the end of the year. Molumphy has decided to retire after serving as chief investment officer of Franklin Templeton Fixed Income Group since 2000, and with 30 years at the firm.
“Sonal Desai brings tremendous thought leadership and well-rounded expertise, cultivated through her experience in academia, with the IMF, and as an economist, combined with her many years of managing portfolios and leading our global macro research team,” says Jenny Johnson, president and chief operating officer of Franklin Templeton Investments. “We are extremely fortunate to have such an accomplished leader ready to take the helm when Chris retires. Sonal will continue to guide Franklin Templeton Fixed Income Group in delivering compelling investment options and strong performance for our clients.”
Desai joined the firm in 2009 as director of research for Templeton Global Macro. In this role, she has worked closely with Dr Michael Hasenstab, chief investment officer of Templeton Global Macro, in leading the team’s research agenda, focusing on regional and country-specific macroeconomic analysis, as well as valuation modelling of interest rates, exchange rates and credit risks across local- and hard-currency debt markets.
When Desai moves into her new role, Dr Calvin Ho will take her place as director of research for Templeton Global Macro, and he will assume portfolio management responsibilities for a number of Templeton Global Macro strategies, reporting directly to Hasenstab. Ho has been serving as Desai’s deputy director of research, specialising in global macroeconomic analysis and consulting with Dr. Hasenstab and Dr. Desai directly on all major portfolio decisions.
“From the time I hired Sonal in 2009, she has been an outstanding contributor, and she has become a strong leader overseeing our Templeton Global Macro research efforts. It is very fulfilling to see her taking on this new CIO role for the firm,” says Hasenstab. “I am equally excited to have Calvin step up into the director of research position for Templeton Global Macro. Calvin has worked alongside me from the beginning and has been a demonstrated leader within the team, driving our fundamental bottom-up research, deep country analysis and macro modelling that enable us to identify high-conviction investment opportunities for our clients.”
Johnson adds: “We have one of the most expansive and innovative fixed income offerings available to clients around the world. With Sonal and Michael, two of the brightest minds in the business, leading Franklin Templeton Fixed Income Group and Templeton Global Macro, respectively, we are well positioned as a market leader in providing compelling fixed income investment choices to our clients globally.”
Desai will also replace Molumphy on Franklin Templeton’s Executive Committee, a small group of the company’s top leaders responsible for shaping the firm’s overall strategy, which includes investment leaders Dr. Hasenstab, Ed Perks, Chief investment officer of Franklin Templeton Multi-Asset Solutions, and Stephen Dover, head of Equities.
“Under Chris Molumphy’s steadfast leadership, Franklin Templeton has become one of the premier fixed income managers in the industry. We sincerely thank him for his three decades of dedicated service to the firm and wish him the very best in his retirement,” Johnson adds.

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